I felt a lot of anger while playing Binary Domain. A lot of it was brought on by the shoddy PC port, clunky controls, terrible friendly A.I. and nausea inducing voice acting but part of it was also directed at the game’s wasted potential. If not for the nuisances mentioned above, Binary Domain would have been this year’s sleeper action hit but as it stands, it’s nothing more than an average game with good ideas bogged down by terrible execution.
In the near future, humanity has been devastated by floods and since technology has evolved to great extents, certain companies are capable of manufacturing robots that can help humanity rebuild itself. However one Japanese company has more sinister plans up its sleeve and so the United States sends in a Rust Crew to Japan to investigate the corporation. You are a part of that Rust Crew. You then find out they’re creating Hollow Children, robots programmed to believe they’re human which is kind of cool and messed up at the same time.
Binary Domain’s plot is actually quite interesting and the way Hollow Children react upon finding out that they aren’t actually human is disturbing and eerie. The game could have continued down that dark path but instead it felt the inane need to dumb down itself with cocky, loud-mouthed, muscle bound characters who obviously have to make a lot of stupid jokes and obvious observations along the way. Worst of the lot is your partner Big Bo who constantly feels the need to validate his friendship with you. Not only does Bo come across as a pretty needy guy but his taunts can become unbearable after a while.
The rest of your crew consists of clichéd characters such as the brash British dude who isn’t too fond of the way Americans love blowing stuff up, the hot silent yet deadly Chinese operative, the extremely masculine looking lady who loves blowing stuff up and the French robot who loves sprouting French phrases in the midst of battle. Ok so I haven’t seen a French robot in games before but that doesn’t make him any less annoying.
That doesn't look good
Making matters worse is the fact is that you have to constantly mollycoddle these overgrown babies by agreeing with them through the game’s extremely broken voice communication system. The idea over here was to allow speech recognition into the game so you can issue commands over your headset instead of pointing and clicking at certain parts of the map. A solid idea that’s executed terribly. Even if you pronounce words like some literary student, the game just doesn’t understand them half the time. The only word I had no issue communicating was “Yes”. Other times I wouldn’t utter a single word and my character would randomly say “Damn” causing my peers to dislike me.
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